Along with its economy the Chinese tourism industry is growing at a fierce pace. As positive fallout Macau has seen massive casino-resort developments along its Cotai Strip in the recent years to take advantage of the growing number of tourists from mainland China. Macau today is the world’s undisputed gaming capital. Last year, the city welcomed over 25 million tourists and was declared one of the hottest destinations. The high-end Banyan Tree Macau opened this week. It is being positioned as urban retreat for the territory’s weary gamers and intensified the competition amongst the big hotel operators.
The rapid growth of tourism in China has made it the third most visited destination in the world just behind France and the US. The hotel majors and operators are firming up and rolling out plans to capture a larger share of the market. Banyan Tree Macau is just one example. The Galaxy Macau resort complex made at a cost of $2 billion houses the Banyan Tree luxury resort which features a relaxation pool in every room. They have created a unique wave pool on the roof top and made their signature villas around it. Ho Kwon Ping, Chairman of Banyan Tree Holding calls it the city’s first five-star urban resort.
Banyan Tree goes beyond the casino experience and aims to attract the travelers looking to immerse themselves in the excitement of Cotai’s entertainment district. The GM of the new resort, Rudy Oretti assures the guests of a private sanctuary in which to relax. The competition between the hotel chains is gaining momentum in China. Hilton has set a target of having 100 hotels in China by 2014. It will mean a 400% growth in the next three years and make China their largest market outside of US. The InterContinental Hotels Group is expanding their Holiday Inn brand rapidly in China. They consider the growth in China a once in a generation opportunity and 25% of their new rooms will be built in China.